by Guest Writer Alexis Brown
Last night, I learned I am the only person on Facebook.
Really, itâs true – according to a 30-year-old, female home-based business owner (also known as my sister).
As flattering as it would be for the worldâs fastest-growing social network to exist solely for my benefit, I found myself more concerned than amused by her statement. Forget the constant barrage of buzz concerning how social media has turned traditional advertising on its head for big companies, like Colgate.
She â like quite a few freelancers, consultants and other small entrepreneurs – just didnât get that social media has tremendous business value on a small scale.
Prospects in your own backyard are in reach through social media and â when reaching people in your backyard would normally cost money â getting in touch with them doesnât have to cost a thing.
We were having this conversation because I explaining to her how to get free ads from Facebook. Since July of this year, The Visa Business Network has been offering USD$100 worth of free Facebook advertising through its social application. Facebook Ads allow advertisers to easily target people by age, gender, workplace, school, personal interests and any location around the world in order to create an ad for anything about you have to offer. I have nothing to do with Facebook, but I would encourage anyone to get on board with this because of the results Iâve had.
Sure, anyone can advertise on search engines or blog network ads (although, not for free), but these ads are targeted with more relevance based on information people put in their Facebook profiles.
Take this example â a very small campaign, from my own experience a few weeks ago, brought in more than 170 visitors in a weekend.
On the other hand, her traffic?
Her site brings her no new prospects and definitely no new business.
To boot, her hosting company just raised its prices.
Youâd think a lot of people in this same position, would jump at opportunities to test and measure free marketing opportunities they can understand.
Understand face-to-face networking? Get into online social networking.
Understand classified ads? Get into Facebook Social Ads.
It seems, however, that no matter who builds it â if business owners donât get it, they wonât come.
Your customers want you to get it.
According to the 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study:
- 33% of consumers (18-34) and those with household incomes over $75,000 believe that companies should try to market to them through social networks
- 60% of Americans regularly interact with companies on a social media site
- 43% of consumers say that companies should use social networks to solve the consumers’ problems
- 41% believe that companies should use social media tools to solicit feedback on products and services
- Men are more likely to use social media tools to interact with a company than women (33% vs. 17%)
- Companies should solicit feedback on their products and services (41%)
- Companies should develop new ways for consumers to interact with their brand (37%)
- Companies should market to consumers (25%)
The great news? âGetting itâ with Facebook means up to $100 of targeted advertising at no cost! Although a credit card is required to sign up for an ad, the advertising costs are charged to your Facebook Ad Credit, as seen below. Anything in excess of $100, per account, is charged to your card. You can use daily budgets and maximum spending limits to control how much your ad performs, each day.
Writing a Facebook Ad is similar enough to writing an effective classified ad – just online.
With a good call to action, whether the goal is to get people to contact you or initiate a subscription, Facebook Ads can point people straight to any opt-in you have on your site.
In this example from the same campaign, one such goal received a 33% higher than normal completion rate with traffic originating from Facebook Ads.
Because the traffic is relevant, they have higher interest in your content than most sites and are more likely to leave their personal information, which equal more leads to begin moving down the sales funnel for more profits.
Last night, I learned I am the only person on Facebook. How do you advertise your business? Do you use social media?
Alexis Brown writes about social media strategies for business owners at ActionCOACH Business Coaching. Her passion is being as plugged in as possible and helping others through social media and education!
Thanks, Coach! Alexis, you won’t be the only one for long!
–ME “Liz” Strauss